Oh Fruit, Why Can’t You Be True?

Reader Edgar points out that the duplicity of fruit really knows no bounds. There are no “true” fruits among the things we commonly know as “fruit” (a true fruit being defined as an item comprised solely of the ovary of the plant with no other structures in it). Most berries aren’t true fruit. But then most berries aren’t true berries, which serves them right. Blueberries are false berries. Blackberries and raspberries are aggregate fruits, meaning they’re made up of many, many ovaries all pressed together. A pineapple is a multiple fruit.

An orange is a hesperidium, a sort of a modified berry with a leathery skin. All other citrus fruits are pretty much like that. Melons are pepos, also modified berries (not fruits). Apples and pears are pomes meaning they have cores containing non-ovary structures inside. Ding!

Strawberries as mentioned are pseudocarps or accessory fruits, meaning that the edible part grows somewhere outside of the ovary. The fig is another example. Peaches, plums, apricots and cherries are drupes, also not true fruits, more like edible flesh over a big, single seed.

All of which raises the question: are there any true — ovary only — fruits out there in the produce section? Yes, peas and tomatoes, which most of us consider vegetables. Life is so uncertain.

2 thoughts on “Oh Fruit, Why Can’t You Be True?”

  1. And Stonehenge isn’t even a henge either. Even though the word ‘henge’ actually *comes* from Stonehenge! (The ditch is supposed to go inside the bank, and at Stonehenge it’s outside)

    You can’t trust anything. XD

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